Presentation on theme: "Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less What do you want for Christmas? This is a question that many of us have been asked since we were children but often."— Presentation transcript:
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less What do you want for Christmas? This is a question that many of us have been asked since we were children but often we don’t’ get what we want. Share with one another about a time (Christmas or otherwise) when you didn’t get what you wanted. How did you respond to the disappointment?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less Now talk about a time when you got exactly what you wanted. How long were you satisfied with the gift? How long did the joy last? What can we learn from these experiences?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less The authors suggest that the fastest growing religion in the world isn’t Islam or Christianity, but “radical consumerism.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? In what ways are we drawn to this kind of worship?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less Consider all the advertisements you are exposed to every Christmas. What are some specific examples that Have affected you? What emotions do they arouse in you? How might they contribute to a sense that you are lacking something in your life? How can we become more aware and less susceptible to such messages?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less Read James 5:1-6 1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you. 2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. 3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. 4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you. What are some specific sins that James condemns in this passage? What are some of the consequences that will come to those who put their trust in wealth and riches? In what ways have you experienced the truth of this passage in your own life? Have you ever purchased something, only to discard it soon after because it had lost its luster? Share an example.
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less Read Mathew 6: 19-24 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! 24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. In verses 19 and 20, Jesus draws a comparison between earthly and heavenly treasures. What are the differences between the two types of treasure? What do you think Jesus means by verse 21? In what way is our spendign during the Christmas season a reflection of our heart? How can you encourage one another this Christmas season to stay focused on the worship of God alone?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less In chapter 4 of the book, the authors note that “Christmas is a season of excess.” Unfortunately, this is more accurate than most of us want to admit. In what way does this season become a “season of excess” for you? Food? Drink? An overstuffed schedule? Overspending? How does this leave you feeling after the holiday is over?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less As parents, teachers, and adult role models, what does your approach to gift-giving at Christmas teach children about worship? What does it teach them about contentment? What are some practical ways that you can use this season as an opportunity to teach children how to handle money responsibly? What are the important lessons that you would like to teach them?
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less Perhaps you come to the end of this session feeling a sense of frustration or even defeat. The struggle against wanting more and more is very real indeed. The unrealistic expectations we place on things that rust and fall apart is a truth that each of us must face. “There only sure remedy is a change of heart, and the best place to begin is at the feet of the newborn Jesus.” From chapter 4
Advent Conspiracy Week 2 Spend Less This is the heart of the Advent Conspiracy. More than just an invitation to say no to overspending and mindless gifts, we’re asking you to say yes to a new way of celebrating Christmas. When we resist the empire of consumerism, our time and money are freed up and we are able to give relational gifts to others. Optional readings: Chapters 2 and 4 of Advent Conspiracy.